Will Mitski be retired from sad? Or have a new career in business? The answer…inhospitable.
Mitski Miyawaki’s seventh studio album released this September takes on an unanticipated orchestra sounds and slow country blues, all while sowing whimsical charm. The Land is Inhospitable and So Are We is the opposite of Mitski’s last album Laurel Hell (2022)—the antithesis if you will.
Mitski’s third track opens like heaven’s metaphorical gates. And, despite the literal title “Heaven” it felt a lot like, “Warning! Impending doom coming soon” with a romantic sentimentality. Compelling lyrics like “Now I bend like a Willow / Thinkin’ of you / Like a murmuring brook / Curving about you,” the track easily earned its place as my favorite song off of the album.
With the cellos that play two-thirds in and with an outro that sounds so idyllic it's easy to see why.
“I Don’t Like My Mind; The Deal; When Memories Snow '' feels a lot like Mitski’s debut album Lush (2012) in the sense of channeling a certain type of emotion. In this case it's vulnerability, compared to the anger in Lush.
Mitski, photo by Ebru Yildiz
The most popular song since the album’s release is “My Love Mine All Mine” which radiates this possessiveness in love. When listening to this song all I can imagine is slow dancing in a country bar late at night where there’s hardly anyone around and the false belief that everything will be okay. It’s midnight and there might have been one drink too many but none of that matters, only the person you’re holding on to does while Mitski sings, “Moon, tell me if I could / Send up my heart to you? / So, when I die, which I must do / Could it shine down here with you?” There are so many stir of emotions in this song that I can hardly describe.
The following track “The Frost” has these country blues undertones where I see Mitski in a metaphorical sense as a “cowboy” traveling all by herself.
The reason for this? Is because her love in the previous song is now lost either through death or by simple selfishness of Mitski.
The next tracks “Star” and “I’m Your Man” feel like reminiscing and digging up the past. “Star” builds up to “I’m Your Man” with fairytale-esque pianos and a mighty organ. It’s similar to “Heaven” with a sanguine outro that also feels whimsical, hence the fairytale. “I’m Your Man” is more grim with the lyrics, “One day you’ll figure me out / I’ll meet judgment by the hounds.” This song could be conveyed as feelings of regret and sounds less hopeful than the preceding song.
The final track “I Love Me After You” expresses emotions of simple contentment with lyrics like “Laughin’ in the mirror” and “King of all the land.” The song itself has you feeling unafraid of the unknown and what life has next for you.
Mitski’s lyricism never fails. It puts listeners in an immersive experience of different aspects of life. The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We is a beautiful 11 track experience with themes of vulnerability and loss, all a part of love.